Mahlathini Development Foundaon has introduced planng of herbsin the garden as part of the
Climate smart agriculture pracce for good crop management, which is under nger four of Five Finger
principles. All learning groups from dierent villages were introduced to dierent kinds of herbs and
were also taught how to implement herbs in their meals/how to use some of the herbs. MDF decided
to have a herb handbook forfarmers to refer to the uses of all theherbs they have in their gardens.
The uses dier, some herbs have medicinal benets, and some can be implemented in the kitchen.
1.Flat leave/curly leave parsley
Parsley is a biannual plant, it grows all throughout the year in Limpopo, even in extreme heat it thrives.
Health benets of parsley:
Parsley does contain a good number of avonoids, which are dietary anoxidants (vitamin C,
carotenoids and avonoids (myricen and apigenin).) that assist in lower the risk of signicant
health disorders such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
Parsley contains 0% cholesterol and fats, and it is rich in anoxidants, nutrients, minerals, and
Thisherb can help to control cholesterol levels and mayreduce the risk of cancers and free
radical-mediated harm. The compounds found in parsley helps prevent oxidave damage to
cells and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Vitamin C is also important for wound healing and may support bone health by promong the
producon of collagen.
Vitamin K is also important for bone health. Carotenoids are anoxidants that can be
converted to vitamin A which, helps protect the eyes and promote healthy vision.
Uses of parley: Parsley can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Parsley can be used fresh from the garden/shop, or it can be dried and used. Parsley has been used to
treat condions like high blood pressure, allergies, and inammatory diseases.Itis also anexcellent
complement to dishes due to its contribuon of avour and aroma. Parley can be dried, dried parsley
may be higher in anoxidants than fresh sprigs. In fact, one study found that the dried herb had 17
mes more anoxidant content than its fresh counterpart.
Culinary uses of parsley include the following.
It can be used to garnish food.
It can be used to make pesto’s.
You can use the dried version as an ingredient in various recipes. It can enhance the avour of
soups, stews, and tomato sauces.
Finely chop the stems can be added to potato salad for an extra crunch.
Coriander is an annual plant. In Limpopo coriander thrives in winter season, it doesn’t grow well in the
extreme weather of Limpopo. Coriander can be used both as a herb and a spice. Itsdry fruits and
seeds, which are also known as coriander, are used to avour many foods, parcularlysausages and
Health benets of Coriander:
Coriander seeds, extract, and oils may all help lower blood sugar.
Coriander seedsare said reduce blood sugarby promong enzyme acvity that helps remove
sugar from the blood.
Coriander oers several anoxidants, which are shown to ght inammaon in your body.
Coriander contains anmicrobial compounds that may help ght certain infecons
andfoodborne illnesses.
Coriander contains anoxidants that mayprotect your skin from aging and sun damage. It may
also help treat mild skin rashes.
Coriander is a good source ofFiber,calcium,magnesium,manganese, andiron. It has
elevencomponentsofessenal oilsand six types of acids, includingascorbic acidor vitamin
C, each having several benecial properes.
The disinfectant, detoxifying, ansepc, anfungal, and anoxidant properes of coriander
may prove to be ideal for clearing upskin disorderssuch as eczema, dryness, and fungal
Coriander seed tea has the following benets:
Reduces pimples.
Aid digeson.
Has anbacterial properes.
Prevents anaemia.
Treats conjuncvis
Prevents menstruaon irregularies.
Culinaryuses of coriander: Whole seeds can be added to baked goods, pickled vegetables,
rubs,roasted vegetables, and cooked lenl dishes. They can be ground for use in pastes and doughs.
Fresh leaves can be used in salads, to garnish food.
Fennel is recognized by its white bulb and long green stalks. It is related to other stalk vegetables, such
as celery andparsnips. The enre fennel plant is edible, including the bulb, seeds, stalk and leaves.
Health benets of fennel:
Fennel seeds are rich in avonoid anoxidants, and they contain a concentrated source of
The seeds are also used to make fennel essenal oil, rst by crushing them and then using a
process called steam disllaon.Due to the calcium content, fennel can help maintain bone
strength and health.
Fennel alsocontains magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K, which all play a role in
maintaining bone strength.
Fennel also contains vitamin C nutrient which is an anoxidant that may help reduce thefree
radical damage that can lead to premature aging.
Fennel can help lower blood pressure and inammaon due to its high potassium content and
low sodium content. Potassium works against sodium, helping ghthigh blood pressurein the
The Fiber and potassium content make fennel reduce risk ofcardiovasculardisease by
lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure.
Fennel tearelaxes your digesve muscles, which might be just what you need if you’re
struggling with regular bowel movements. Drinking some fennel tea will help cleanse your
body and move toxins through your system.
Culinary uses of fennel
The bulb can be chopped and added to salads, slaws, pasta dishes and more. It adds a crisp
and crunchy texture to any dish and a sweet avor.
Bulbs/leaves or seeds can also be used to make tea.
Rosemary is a herb that growson the evergreen shruband has
been used in cooking and herbal/medicine for years. This herb has
a strong smell and taste, and it is also packed with anoxidants,
volale oils and other protecve phytochemical compounds.
Health benets of rosemary:
The rosemary plant is also the source of
concentratedrosemary essenal oil, which is used to help relieve
condions including pain, inammaon, gastrointesnal pains,
anxiety and respiratory issues.
The supply of anoxidants and bioacve
chemicals (including phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosol and
caeoyl derivaves), consuming rosemary can helpghtoxidave
stress and support the immune system.
It’s also known topromotehealthy circulaon and to defend against inammaon, which can
lead to pain.
Addionally, the upliing and energizing aroma of rosemaryhas been linked toimproved moods,
reduces drowsiness and reduced stress levels, including due to its ability to decrease release of the
“stress hormone” corsol.
Rosemary helps smulate hair growth, by using it as ahair spray.Addionally, this herb, whether
cooked with or steeped inherbal tea, it is a natural remedy for digesve issues, including loss of
appete, heart burn/acid reux, gas, bloang and abdominal pains.
Culinary uses of rosemary
It’s most oen used for culinary purposes, including adding earthiness and other avorsto recipes.
Addionally, it has many therapeucand household uses, including making herbal teas, candles,
perfumes, hair care products and more.
Thyme is an aromac plant that grows well in hot, sunny dry locaons, known for ouring food. One
can use fresh sprigs thyme or dry it and use it dry. It has been recognized for its medicinal benets.
Essenal oils can be made from thyme by steaming disllaon to use as a skin remedy.
Health benets:
Thyme tea can help to lower blood pressure, clear up respiratory infecons, soothe a hacky
cough, bronchial infecons (causing bronchis) and lower anxiety.
Its high levels of vitamin C means that thyme extracts are also good for strengthening your
immune system.
Your skin can also benet from using thyme essenal oil to clear infecons and treat the
symptoms of acne.
Thyme oil has been shown to have strong anbacterial acvity against oral cavity, respiratory
and genitourinary tracts.
Thyme contains high levels of vitaminsand minerals that are good forone’s health which are
vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.
It helps reduce high blood pressure (hypertension) by drinking 2-3 cups daily, or by adding in
meals instead of the salt.
Thyme oil has beenshown to have powerful healing essenal oil. For example, it has manyhealth
benets due to its anmicrobial and anbacterial properes. Thymol is an anoxidant found in thyme
essenal oil.
Thyme tea can be made with fresh thyme or dried thyme. It is somemes recommended to treat
mouth infecons, alleviate digesve upset, help cure respiratory infecons, reduce inammaon,
alleviate symptoms of food poisoning and help improve sleeping paerns.
Thyme tea recipe:
Pour boiling water in a cup and add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (if using fresh thyme leaves,
you will need to triple the amount).
Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Strain the leaves and add a teaspoon of honey to taste once the tea has cooled somewhat to
boost the nutrional content and avour of thyme tea.
Drink 2-3 mes a day to boost your immunity, clear a cough, or get rid of the cold faster.
6.Sweet basil
Basil is a avourful, leafy green herb. Popular as a food seasoning, this aromac herb is also used in
teas and supplements which may provide a range of health benets.Basil can be used as fresh in food
and salads, or dried and added in food. Though dried basil is more concentrated in nutrients, you use
less in recipes compared to fresh. One can make essenal oil from basil. In Limpopo and EC (Mataele)
basil grows well in winter and struggles in summer due to extreme heat.
Health benets:
Reduce memory loss associated with stress and aging.
Reduce stroke damage and support recovery, whether given before or right aer a stroke.
Improve fasng blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Protect against aspirin’s damage to your gut, parcularly prevenng ulcers.
Increase mental alertness when inhaled as aromatherapy.
Inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause dental decay.
Repel insects, such as mosquitos and cks.
Basil leaves are high in vitamin K, which helps blood
Supports Cardiovascular health.
Support liver health.
How to use it:
Culinary uses of sweet basil
Basil gives zest to tomato dishes, salads, eggplant, meat
seasonings, stung, soups, sauces and more.
It is also used to make pesto’s, which is made from
crushed basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts, to be used in dishes.
Feverfew is aperennial herb which has light green hairy leaves and dense clusters of daisy-like owers
at the tops of its stalks. Feverfew reduces severity and associated symptoms, such as dizziness and
voming. It also helps rheumatoid arthris by inhibing the formaon of prostaglands. The herb is
known for treang migraines, treat fever and other inammatory condions. Feverfewcontains a
variety of acve compounds, such as avonoids and volale oils. However, its main compound of
interest is parthenolide, found in the plant’s leaves.
Health benets:
People with allergies to ragweed or other related plantsfrom the Asteraceae or Compositae plant
families— such as daisies, marigolds, and chrysanthemums — should avoid it as well.Pregnant
women should avoid taking feverfew, as it may cause early contracons. What’s more, research to
ensure it’s safe for breaseeding women is insucient.
Both the leaves and owers can be harvested and used medicinally. The ideal me to harvest isaround
the start of owering generally in early to mid-summer though the leaves can be harvested any me
throughout the season. Cut foliage and owers cleanly with gardening shears or a sharp knife, leaving
the boom two-thirds of the plant intact.
Use the dried leaves and owers to make a tea to prevent headaches. The tea can also be cooled and
applied to the skin as an insect repellent or used on pets as a natural ea rinse provided, of course,
that you’re not allergic or sensive to it.
Relieves chronic joint pain.
Helps to increase appete.
Alleviates stress and anxiety.
Relieves respiratory problems.
Aids in maintaining healthy heart.
Relieves headache and migraines.
Helps reduce fever and related pain.
Provides relief from asthma and coughing.
Helps treat skin condions and irritaon.
Dill is a plant that has slender stems with alternang so leaves and brown, at, oval seeds. The
leaves have a sweet, grassy avour and seeds are more aromac.
Nutrient value: Dill contains the following nutrients.
Vitamin C - is vital for your immune system and helps with bone formaon, wound healing,
and metabolism.
Manganese -essenal mineral that supports normalfunconing of your brain, nervous
system, and metabolism of sugar and fat.
Vitamin A- helpswith maintaining vision and supporng a healthy immune system.
Folate and Iron
Dill is rich in anoxidants. Anoxidants help protect cells against damage caused by unstable
molecules. The rst anoxidants are theavonoids, it is associated with areduced risk of heart
disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer. It is also saidthat they may also play an important role in
brain health.Terpenoids found in essenal oils made of dill herb may protect against liver, heart,
kidney, and brain diseases. Tannins, which is responsible for bierness in many plant foods, tannins
have been shown to have potent anoxidant properes, as well as anmicrobial eects.
Culinary uses: Dill is commonly used to elevate the avour of various dishes. It’s oen paired with
salmon, potatoes, and yogurt-based sauces. The tea can also be cooled and applied to the skin as an
insect repellent or used on pets as a natural ea rinse provided, of course, that you’re not allergic or
sensive to it. Dill tea can help to improve digeson and relieve stomach cramps. It is also a diurec,
which means it can help to reduce water retenon. Dill tea is also thought to have detoxifying
properes and be benecial for the respiratory system. The tea can be made from seeds or leaves
and boiling water, adding honey.
9.Lemon grass
Lemon grass tastes and smells like lemon but is sweeter and milder. It has been used to treat lots of
health issues and condions.Dried or fresh, lemongrass boasts has plenty of benecial medicinal
properes such as an-inammatory, analgesic, andepressant, ansepc, anpyrec, anbacterial,
astringent, anfungal, carminave, febrifuge, diurec, galactagogue, sedave, inseccidal, an-cancer,
and an-aging properes.
Health benets:
Lemongrass possesses potent pain-relieving and an-inammatory properes that help to
treat rheumasm,arthris, gout, osteoarthris, and other kinds of the joint pain.
Lemongrass is an excellent sourceof anoxidants that help to decrease the risk ofcancer by
eliminang free radicals in the body.
Lemongrass is renowned for its incredible anfungal and anbacterial properes that help the
body to eecvely ght bacteria and viruses and thus deal with cold and u symptoms faster.
Lemongrass is also eecve in treang the muscle pain and headaches related to colds or u.
It’s also helpful in breaking down phlegm and mucus build-up, thus resolving breathing issues.
Drinking lemongrass tea at least once a day helps detoxify and cleanse the whole body.Thanks
to its diurec properes, lemongrass helps to ush out harmful toxins, eliminate uric acid, and
lower the bad cholesterol levels by increasing the quanty and frequency of urinaon.
Lemongrass tea can aid in purifying the pancreas, bladder, and liver, as well as in elevang
blood circulaon that’s vital for overall health.
The an-atherosclerosisand an-cholesterol abilies of lemongrass helpto decrease the
cholesterol absorpon from the intesne.
Lemongrass can help to treat numerous digesve health issues, including conspaon,
indigeson, heartburn, bloang, diarrhea, atulence, voming, stomach spasms, cramps, and
in some cases nausea.
Citronella found in lemongrass has a calming eect on the body and mind and thus helps you
get a beer-quality sleep.
Lemongrass is great forpeople with type-2diabetes. Lemongrass tea helps tomaintain opmal
levels of insulin and enhance the glucose tolerance in the body.
Nutrion benets
Vitamins A, B & C
Comfrey is a shrub that grows in
parts of Europe, Asia, and North
America. It can grow up to 5 feet
tall. It produces clusters of purple,
blue, and white owers, and it’s
famousforits long, slender leaves
and black-skinned roots. While
comfrey is well-known for its
health benets, it also poses some
risks. It contains compounds that
can harm your liver. It may also be
carcinogenic.It may contain small
amounts of toxic pyrrolizidine
Health benets:
Comfrey has been used in alternave medicine as a possibly eecve aid in treangback
pain,osteoarthris, or tenderness and swelling caused by a sprain injury. It is oen sold as an
herbal supplement.
Poulces of comfrey leaves and roots can help cure and supply pain relief for bruises, mild
burns, and traumas that cause swelling.
Comfrey also has tradional uses for alleviang symptoms of gout and osteoarthris, a kind of
acute inammatory arthris.
Comfrey is not recommended for internal use becauseof the liverdamage caused by its
pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Rocket’s delicate texture and punchy, peppery taste make it ideal to be mixed with other leafy greens
in a bold-avoured salad.
Health benets
Rocket is an excellent source of vitaminA. Studies have found
this vitamin and avonoidcompounds in leafy green veggies help
protect you from skin, lung and mouth cancers. (Flavonoids also play
an an-allergic, an-cancer, anoxidant, an-inammatory and an-
viral role).
It contains vitamin C, a powerful, natural anoxidant that
helps boost immunity against disease and destroys harmful, pro-
inammatory free radicals from the body.
It containsimportant mineralslike calcium, magnesium,
potassium, sulphur, iron, phosphorusand selenium. These minerals
play their parts in keepingthe blood pressure low: potassium, calcium,
and magnesium. Iron is an important mineral that develops red blood
cells that carry oxygen to each cell of your body.
Rocket is denitely rich in vitaminK – containing 109mg of the
vitamin per 100 grams. Vitamin K regulates blood clong so that your
injuries heal when you gethurt. It also helps regulate blood pressure for a healthier heart and
ensures calcium is carried to your bones.
In addion, wild rocket leaves also contain copperwhich smulates the creaon of white blood
cells. White blood cells are your number one defense against contagious diseases caused by
viruses and foreign agents that aack your body.
Rocket boost eyesight.The herb has two anoxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in this
veggie. These anoxidants protect the macula of your eye from degeneraon. They also guard
against damage caused by UV light and blue light.
Culinary uses of Rockets
Rocket can be incorporated into a range of other dishes or enjoyed on its ownwith a splash of
extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and squeeze of lemon.
Rocketgoes very well when tossed through pasta dishes or sprinkled on top of pizza before
serving or be added in burgers.
Oregano has a strong avour, warmth to
dishes, and a hint of subtle sweetness. It can
be found fresh, dried, or as an oil, and all have
signicant health benets.
Culinary Use:Oreganois most commonly
used as a dried herb in cooking. It pairs well
with tomato-based dishes, pizzas, pasta
sauces, roasted vegetables, and grilled
Other uses: Apart from culinary and medicinal uses, oregano is somemes used as a fragrant
herb in potpourri, soaps, and perfumes. Its essenal oil is also used in aromatherapy.
Health benets:
Oregano is rich in anoxidants, which are compounds that help ghtdamage fromharmful
free radicals in the body.
The essenal oil of oregano has an-inammatory properes, which reduce inammaon and
the risk of heart disease.
Oregano oil is somemes used as a natural remedy for respiratory issues, digesve problems,
and as a topical treatment for skin condions.
The benets of oregano leaves can be helpful in prevenng cancer. Thymol, carvacrol and
some other an-carcinogenicproperes are found in oregano, they can preventcancer cells
from growing and reduce the risk of cancer.
nutrients are found in oregano, such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. All these three
vitamins are considered to be eecve anoxidants. These vitamins can help in increasing the
immunity of the body.
One can boil oregano leaves in a glass of water and consume that water. Oregano tea can also
be consumed in the problem of cold and sore throat.
Essenal oil of oregano reduces the numberof gut-damaging bacteria such as E. coli and can
help improve the immune system of the gut.For this, one must add one or two drops of
oregano oil to a cup of peppermint or lemon tea to consume.
A monoterpic phenol compound named carvacrol is found in Oregano. This compound has
an-inammatory properes, that can reduce joint swelling caused by osteoarthris, leaves
can be used to make tea. For this, boil some of its leaves in a cup of water every morning and
consume that water.
How to use oregano for tea:
Oregano tea can be made, which can provide thebenets oforegano leaves. For this, boil
oregano leaves (fresh or dry) in a cup of water. Aer boiling well, lter the water and consume
A few leaves of oregano can also be added to ginger or masala tea.
To take advantage of the benets of oregano, it can be used as a spice in chicken, vegetable,
pizza, pasta and other dishes.
Oregano leaves can also be consumed by adding them to the soup. Its leaves will give a
dierent avour to the soup.
Oregano can be used in all the three forms of fresh, dry and oil.
Chamomile is among the most popular of all herbs andfor goodreason.It can be used for a wide
variety of physical and emoonalhealth issues from treang stomach complaints and skin infecon to
easing stress and anxiety. Itis most popularly
made into a soothing tea, or its blossoms are
used to produce a popular essenal oil with
various excellent health benets.
Health benets:
The anoxidants found in chamomile help
your healthin a variety ofsignicant ways. They
can help improve immune funcon, reduce
inammaon and pain, improve emoonal
wellbeing and stave o premature aging.
It can be used astea, ncture or used asan essenal oil, to help combat stress and anxiety
and promote relaxaon.
Chamomile can help relax the digesve system and is used to treat numerous digesve
complaints.These include indigeson, diarrhea, gas and bloang, voming and nausea.
Chamomile can help ease the breathing dicules that you experience when you are
congested.When you drink it in tea form, it can help eliminate those familiar symptoms of the
cold or inuenza while inhaling its vapors can have a similarly benecial eect.
Chamomile has the following nutrients, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin,
phosphorus, potassium, riboavin, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
14.Curry bush
Curry is known for its smells pleasantly of curry and spice meals like rice and meat dishes. But also, as
a medicinal herb it has been known for a long me, so that it is sll used today in natural medicine.
The Curry plant is an evergreen subshrub, which can reach growth height
up to 70 cm (28 inches) and usually grows very bushy. The plant is
perennial and prefers sunny locaons. Also, the plant has relavely
narrow roots.
Culinary uses: Basically, you should not mix the Curry plant with the spice
curry. Curry powder is a spice mixture (including coriander, pepper,
cardamom, nutmeg, cumin). Curry plant suits many dishes.
For preparaon either the leaves can be nely chopped or whole
branches can be used. In dishes that are cooked with twigs, the branches
of the curry bush should be removed before consumpon.
Curry herb should beharvestedthe leaves and branches before owering,
because aer owering, the leaves lose a lot of aroma.
Health benets:
The plant has wound-healing, an-inammatory, fungicidal, anbacterial, expectorant, anspasmodic
and relaxing features. Typical applicaons of curry herb plant are:
wound cleansing
Relief of colds (cough, bronchis)
Disorders of the lymphac vessels
mild depression
nervous restlessness
Skin problems (itching, impuries, eczema)
Preparing curry plant tea:
Curry owers are used rather than the leaves.
For the preparaon of 250 ml Curry plant tea about 1 to 2 teaspoons of Curry plant
blossoms are needed, which are poured over with boilinghot water. The tea must then
steep for about 7 minutes.The tea should be drunk twice a day.
1.Anbacterial acvity of coriander volale compounds against Salmonella choleraesuis Isao
Kubo, Ken-Ichi Fujita, Aya Kubo, Ken-Ichi Nihei, Tetsuya Ogura.
2.Anoxidant and anhypertensive acvity of extract from Thymus serpyllum L. in
experimental hypertension N Mihailovic-Stanojevic, A Belščak-Cvitanović, J Grujić-Milanović,
M Ivanov, Dj Jovović, D Bugarski, Z Miloradović.
3.Comfrey.Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons [database online]. St. Louis, MO:
Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc; August 2010.
4.Coriandrum savum — mechanism of hypoglycemic acon, overlay panel V Chithra, S
5.Culinary herbs and spices: their bioacve properes, the contribuon of polyphenols and the
challenges in deducing their true health benets. Elizabeth I Opara, Magali Chohan
6.Evaluaon of the chemical composion, anoxidant andan-inammatory acvies of
disllate and residue fracons of sweet basil essenal oil, Hailong Li, Yanhui Ge, Zhimin Luo,
Yulan Zhou, Xuguang Zhang, Junqing Zhang, Qiang Fu.
7.Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systemac review, Anil Pareek 1, Manish Suthar,
Garvendra S Rathore, Vijay Bansal
12.Interference and Mechanism of Dill Seed Essenal Oil and Contribuon of Carvone and
Limonene in Prevenng Scleronia Rot of Rapeseed. Bingxin Ma , Xiaoquan Ban , Bo Huang ,
Jingsheng He , Jun Tian , Hong Zeng , Yuxin Chen , Youwei Wang.
13.Medicinal and Funconal Values of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) Herb Eqbal M. A. Dauqan1*,
Aminah Abdullah
14.Pedersen, Mark. Nutrional Herbology: a Reference Guide to Herbs. Warsaw, IN: Whitman
Publicaons, 2010
15.The health benets of vitamin K James J DiNicolantonio 1, Jaikrit Bhutani 2, James H O'Keefe